Article by Djuradj Vujcic
From September 14 to September 18, 2022, the beach soccer World Winners Cup took place in Cagliari, Italy with matches taking place at the Ippodromo Poetto on San Pietro Island.
Participating teams were Napoli Patron, Naxos, Napoli BS and Bologna from Italy, Bohemians 1905 from the Czech Republic, BSC Husty from Slovakia, La Pirraya from El Salvador, Lazo Apego from Japan, Marseille from France, Real Münster and Rostocker Robben from Germany and Telavi from Georgia.
Canada finished third in Group D with three points after losing 6–5 to Marseille on September 14, beating Telavi 10–5 on September 15 and losing 6–5 to Napoli BS on September 16. In the playoff 9th–12th place classification match, Canada lost 6–4 to Lazo Apego on September 17 and beat Naxos 8–2 in the 11th/12th place classification match on September 18 for a total of eleventh place.
Real Münster won gold, La Pirraya won silver and Napoli BS won the bronze medal.
The Serbian White Eagles were well represented with three current Serbian White Eagles players on the Canada Beach roster: Adrian Cann (who captained the side and scored one goal in five matches), Brandon Wellington (who scored five goals in five matches) and Marc Jankovic (who scored five goals in five matches). The remainder of the Canada Beach roster consisted of Conner Rezende, Tanner Akol, Michael Butler, Simone Orlandi, Panagiotis Peter Christidis, Daniel Gosciniak and Andre Goyo while the head coach is Paolo Ceccarelli.
Last year’s Canada Beach roster featured Canadian soccer legend Dwayne De Rosario and former Serbian White Eagles and Canada national under-20 player Milos Scepanovic. Another fun fact is that Adrian Cann, Marc Jankovic, Milos Scepanovic and another former Serbian White Eagles player Daniel Chamale all represented the Canada national beach soccer team at the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship.
After the tournament, Adrian Cann stated:
“What a wonderful experience this past week on the majestic island of Cagliari, Italy. Not only did the venue offer beautiful coastline vistas/beaches and cuisine, I had the privilege to compete against some of the top teams for beach soccer in the World. We portrayed that we can battle against the best. Honoured to play alongside my teammates, staff, as well as for the players back home that couldn’t make it out!”